April 29th, 2022

Nova Scotia workers deserve ten days paid sick leave

Halifax - Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, joined the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour and the Nova Scotia NDP Caucus in demanding paid sick days for every single worker in the province. Bruske was in town for the National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job.

“Public health and worker protection go hand in hand. Throughout the pandemic, we saw that when workers can’t stay home, our communities pay the price with more outbreaks and worse health outcomes,” said Bruske. “The reality is, we know paid sick leave saves lives. Premier Houston should support the NDP’s legislation to ensure all workers can stay home when sick by having access to 10 days of paid sick leave.”

The NDP worked closely with community organizations and unions to push the then Liberal government and now the Conservative government to implement temporary paid sick days for all workers during recent waves of the pandemic. The third temporary paid sick days program expires in a week on May 7.

“People need to be able to stay home when they are sick. Many people cannot stay home if they will lose a day’s pay. This is a clear problem with a simple solution. I was proud to introduce legislation to create 10 paid sick days per year for every worker in Nova Scotia, and I encourage the provincial government to act on this important issue,” said Kendra Coombes, NDP Labour spokesperson.

Over 50 per cent of workers in Nova Scotia do not have paid sick days. That’s more than 240,000 people who go to work every day worried that they may get sick and lose wages.

“Too many workers in Nova Scotia do not have access to paid sick days. We need to level the playing field and make sure everyone can stay home if they are sick. What a relief it will be for people when they finally have the paid sick days they deserve,” said Danny Cavanagh, President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour.

The NDP first introduced legislation to create paid sick days for all in September 2018, a year and a half before the pandemic started.